Berlin-based Lingoda, a startup that offers online language classes, has announced that it has raised $68M (approx €57M) in a fresh round of funding. The round was led by global growth investor Summit Partners. In addition, existing investor Conny Boersch, founder of Mountain Partners, that first invested in Lingoda in 2015, also participated in this round.
With the recent round, the company has raised a total of more than $83M (approx €70M) in funding, to date.
Disrupting the brick & mortar language school model
Lingoda was founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Fabian and Felix Wunderlich. The company’s platform offers online live groups and private classes (1-on-1, 60 minutes per class) with qualified and native-speaking teachers. It also offers certificates after the completion of courses.
Felix and Fabian Wunderlich shared a strong passion for language. After studying abroad and living in different countries, including England, France, and Holland, they decided to start, Lingoda, to impact the lives of others.
Currently led by CEO Michael Shangkuan, the platform offers classes in four languages – English, German, French, and Spanish and helps people to improve their language skills. According to the company, 97 per cent of learners have confirmed that the platform is more effective than using language apps alone.
Lingoda teaches more than 450,000 classes each year through a community of over 1,400 certified, native-speaking teaching professionals. The company’s structured curriculum includes over 2,000 digital lessons produced in-house by linguistic experts.
With over 70,000 students worldwide, the company’s private and small group classes are taught by over 1,400 qualified, native-speaking teachers.
The company mentions in the press release, “We believe in a communicative approach to language learning: mastering a language means being able to speak it with confidence. Our CEFR-focused learning materials are designed by linguistic experts and focus on meaningful topics that are applicable to our students’ interests, careers, and everyday lives. Thanks to our extensive rotating roster of teachers and our small group classes, students are exposed to a variety of regional accents and expressions within the same language and have the time and space to practice speaking in every lesson.”
Use of the funds
The raised capital will enable Lingoda to expand its services in new markets; further enhancing the company’s live classroom experiences, and accelerate its already robust growth.
Lingoda is currently led by an international team of over 150 language enthusiasts from more than 30 countries who speak 40 languages. Michael Shangkuan, CEO of Lingoda said, “To date, we have taught over 3 million hours of coursework to more than 70,000 students, and our community is growing daily as we continue to build our platform to serve more learners worldwide.”
Lingoda recent growth
According to the company the global language learning market is estimated to represent more than $50B in annual revenues. The demand for technology, amid the pandemic, has accelerated the growth and brought about a secular shift to online learning.
In past one year, Lingoda has grown its customer base by nearly 200 per cent and has served students from almost 200 countries globally.
Matthias Allgaier, a Managing Director at Summit Partners – who will join the Lingoda Board of Directors, believes, “The language learning market is increasingly shifting to online offerings that provide consumers with a more convenient, flexible, and cost-effective way to improve their foreign language skills.”
Jochen Klüppel, Partner at Grazia Equity, says, “We believe the push that COVID-19 has triggered in online education is irreversible; virtual learning is an easier, more convenient option for daily use, and the technical possibilities are significant. The course for digitisation in language schools has long been set, and we believe it to Lingoda’s strengths.”
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